Monday, February 14, 2011

The Waiting Game...

We are still playing "The Waiting Game," and quite frankly, I think we're all a bit sick of it.  The Medicaid nurse did make it to my grandmother's house to evaluate her on Tuesday, February 9th.  She approved her for admission to the Assisted Living Facility, based on her age, the fact that she mixes up her medications, the three visits she has already had to a nursing home for rehab following falls and the flu, and a few other things, such as the fact that we hire a housekeeper to assist with duties that Home Health staff cannot perform.

This was a huge milestone... and it was no small feat to accomplish - from getting the orders for the nurse to visit to actually meeting her criteria.  Nobody can believe my grandmother is 98 years old by just spending an hour with her.  She walks well, speaks clearly and makes sense, and she even heard clearly this particular day.

So we now wait on DHS to approve this move, based on the nurse's recommendations.  Mam-ma grows more anxious by the day.  Yesterday, she decided maybe she walked too well when the evaluating nurse asked her to walk across the floor.  "I should have had you bring me my walker," she said.  Instead, she got up from her couch and walked to her dining area and retrieved the walker herself, pushing it back toward the nurse.  I assured her that this had no bearing on why we are still waiting.  It's something new every day.

The day after the nurse visited, we had a mega snowstorm... some 9+ inches of snow that is still melting.  So very few people made it in to work on Thursday - or even Friday.  I don't know if the DHS case workers were in the office or not.  That probably cost us some time in getting this move scheduled.

Saturday night, Mam-ma assured me that she was not going to church on Sunday morning.  We agreed that,while her streets were fairly dry, the parking lots might have "black ice" and slick spots.  She said, "I know Geneva (a friend who is nearly Mam-ma's age) will want me to ride with her, but I'm not going."  Sunday morning, my mom called me... "I cannot get your Mam-ma on the phone.  She probably went ahead and went to church, but I thought you should know."  I looked at the clock... 11:20 a.m.  Church would be over around 11:30. 

We had not gone to church, but I hurriedly dressed and began calling in earnest around 11:40, when I thought Mam-ma might be home - if she went to church.  At 11:45, still no answer.  As I started out the door at 11:59, I tried one last time... she answered.  "So, you did go to church?" I asked.  "Yes.. Geneva just insisted I go, and my streets were dry, so I thought I just as well."  I reminded her that the streets were not what worried me - it was the parking lot.  "Well, it was dry!" she retorted.  "Doesn't matter..." I told her, "you're there and back in one piece, so that's what matters.  But you've had people from here to California looking for you!"  (My mom is in California with her husband, tending to his brother, who is on Hospice.)

I told Mam-ma that since she had said she was not going to church, it had worried me a little, even though I figured that was where she went.  We hung up, and about an hour later, she phoned me... "I'm sorry I worried y'all, but Geneva just insisted I go to church with her, and she wouldn't let up, and I didn't know what else to do."  I assured her it was over and done, and everything was okay.  I am not certain that Geneva was so insistent as much as Polly just really wanted to GO... but nonetheless, she was now home safely.

Another thirty minutes went by, and Mam-ma called again... "Do you think it would be okay if I went out for a walk?"  I told her to stay on the main street in front of her house, and she should be fine.  "Don't go on any side streets... those are shady and may still have ice on them.  We still have ice on our back deck."  Okay... she assured me she would not get off her main street.  When I talked to her later in the evening, she told me she had walked over to her neighbor's, and "... you know what?  There was still ice on the street!"  I questioned... had she stayed on the main street?  Well... yes and no.  She had walked across the main street to visit a neighbor, then she came back to her house and took a walk down a side street.  "And it was icy?" I questioned.  "No, no, no!" she replied. "It wasn't icy... it was just wet."  Now, she had already told me the street was icy, but she glossed over that.

My mother e-mailed me later and said she had spoken to Mam-ma briefly,  but she was so put out with her over going to church after she told me she wouldn't that Mom got frustrated and didn't talk long.  Mom said, "She's going to go to Southridge alright - but it may be to the nursing facility instead of the assisted living!"  I told Mom that my husband and I have concluded that we have done all we can do to keep Mam-ma safe... if she hurts herself now before the big move, it's on her.

This morning, I stopped by Mam-ma's to take her some chicken stew I had made... something she really enjoys.  She told me last night she was eating bread, sorghum molasses and butter for supper.  She has chicken pot pies in her freezer, but she didn't want those.  Anyway, when I arrived this morning, her Meals on Wheels delivery had arrived, and the milk, dessert and fruit were on her table... but no meal.  I saw a big container of what appeared to be chili or vegetable soup on her counter.  "You not having your meal today?" I asked as I slid the stew into her refrigerator.  "No..." she answered.  But the meal wasn't in her fridge.  Finally she said something about... "I just set that in the microwave."  I opened her microwave, and there was the hot meal... chicken spaghetti, green peas, and mixed vegetables. 

I told Mam-ma, "You can't leave this in your microwave... it will spoil!"  This explained another time when I happened to open her microwave, and she had left a meal in there overnight.  Somehow she doesn't get the connection that food cannot sit out like that and still be safe to eat!  SCARY!!!  I put the tray in her refrigerator and told her, "When you get ready to eat this, get it out and microwave it!"  She said she would.

So we are taking it one day at a time, and praying that the approval for a move comes soon.  With a week of temperatures in the high 60's, this would be an ideal time for moving.  But we will just have to see what happens.  Prayers for a quick move-in time would be greatly appreciated!

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